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Archive for July, 2010

Philadelphia Acupuncture to Help with Anxiety

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Philadelphia acupuncture and Oriental Medicine have always considered the connection between mind and body to be inseparable. Along with the ancient descriptions of external environmental disease factors, such as Wind, Heat, and Cold, internal causes of disease were considered to be due to emotions. Anger, fear, sadness, worry, and joy were correlated to each of the five Yin organs of the body. Imbalances within these organs could be the origin of the emotion, or the emotion could injure the corresponding internal organ over time.

The Western viewpoint of “more is better” has taken a toll on mental health. While some chose to work hard and play hard until exhaustion, others will suffer from over-thinking, worrying about every detail of life. This lifestyle causes the mind and body to become tied-up inside, creating anxiety and depression. Acupuncture can help treat these mental-emotional disorders by helping you to “un-do”. The needles create a deep state of relaxation during the treatment, allowing true rest and healing of both mind and body.

Anxiety comes in a variety of forms, from mild worrying about an upcoming speech or exam to phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder, a nervous stomach, and even panic attacks. Some anxiety is a normal healthy response to the stresses of daily life and new situations; however, anxiety that occurs randomly or in an excessive manner is a sign for concern. Fortunately, acupuncture can help balance both the mental and physical manifestations of this condition returning you to an easy-going life.

When anxiety occurs, you may experience the obsessive thoughts circling the fearful situation you are experiencing, and physical symptoms such as chest pain, increased heart rate, and shortness of breath, stomachache, nausea, or headache. Depending on the exact manifestations of your anxiety in conjunction with an observation of the pulse and tongue, an acupuncturist can determine which Oriental Medicine pattern of anxiety you are experiencing.

Most conditions of anxiety are related to imbalances of the Heart and Kidney, referring the energetic aspects of these organs.  The Heart organ is considered a very Yang energy organ, constantly pumping the blood throughout the body. Over-excitement of the Heart due to excessive joy or an imbalance of Fire within the body can create Heat in the Heart, leading to anxiety and insomnia. The Kidney is the Water organ and functions to balance the Fire of the Heart helping to contain an excess of Fire. If the Kidney is deficient, the Heart Fire can rise up disturbing the mind.

Acupuncture treatments for anxiety can use both body and auricular acupuncture. Body acupuncture points may include Heart 7, Kidney 6, and Spleen 6 to harmonize the Heart and Kidney and nourish the cooling Yin energy of these organs. In cases of excessive Heart Heat, the points Heart 8 and Heart 9 may be used to sedate the Fire within the Heart. Auricular points, such as Shenmen (Spirit Gate), can effectively reduce anxiety; in some cases, retaining ear tacks or small magnetic balls at this auricular acupuncture point can prolong the effects between treatments.

Written by Valerie

July 28th, 2010 at 6:52 am

Orlando Acupuncture and Fertility

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Recently a number of clients have asked about the relationship between acupuncture in orlando and fertility. Planning a pregnancy is an exciting time in a person’s life since it is filled with new expectations, experiences and discoveries; it is also a time of reflection as well as one of looking towards the future, and an ideal time to explore optimal health. For over 2,500 years, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners have been examining the most effective ways to help naturally boost fertility as well as to ameliorate imbalances that contribute to reproductive difficulties. The practice of TCM includes acupuncture, nutrition, herbal medicine and gentle energy building exercises.

There are many different factors that play a role in determining the chances of conception and carrying to term. Some of these factors require aggressive treatment or are irreversible such as menopause, and should be ruled out. However, much of the time, natural medicine and moderate lifestyle changes have powerful results without any adverse side effects. Additionally, acupuncture is regularly utilized in conjunction with Assisted Reproductive Therapies to increase their effectiveness.

It is important for the prospective mother to become intimately familiar with the body’s rhythms and cycles. This can be done by charting early morning temperatures, examining cyclical changes throughout the menstrual cycle, and using non-invasive home test kits to determine hormonal shifts. This serves several purposes: one is to know the time during the menstrual cycle when conception is most likely to produce ovulation; another is to bring to light the underlying blockages or deficiencies that need to be addressed. Lastly, it helps women to be in touch with their bodies. Patients are encouraged to become curious observers of the interconnected nature of all life. This is elegantly demonstrated as body temperature, fluids, and emotions all ebb and flow together.

A balanced diet is of utmost importance where reproductive health is concerned. Reduce the intake of caffeine, alcohol, sugar and foods high in saturated fat, while eating plenty of color rich vegetables and essential fatty acids is the key to health. Only buy organic foods to avoid pesticides and additives. If one eats meat and dairy, choose those that have not been hormone fed. More specifically, there are foods and herbs that facilitate balance, based on each individual’s needs. Chinese medicinal herbs – with over 25 centuries of continual use – can be safe, effective and nourishing when prescribed by a Nationally Board Certified Herbalist. Additionally, incorporating gentle energy building exercises – such as Tai qi, Qi gong, or Yoga – nourish the spirit, calm the mind and strengthen the body.

Through acute observation and analysis the TCM practitioner is able to assess disharmony. The strength of Traditional Chinese Medicine is that it takes into consideration every aspect of one’s life, including factors such as sleep patterns, stress level and digestion. There are a lot of imbalances that seem unrelated reveal underlying patterns of disharmony that can contribute to infertility. Acupuncture works by treating the “root” of the problem as well as the “branch” to enhance overall functioning. In real meaning, acupuncture gives the body an opportunity to properly attune itself rather than only suppressing symptoms.

Today scientists are attempting to translate the effects of this ancient medicine into modern biophysical terms as more research comes out in support of acupuncture’s effect on fertility. A lot of western medical theory holds that acupuncture initiates electromagnetic signals via the nervous and endocrine systems, to the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is responsible for the hormonal activity that is directly connected to ovulation, menstruation and conception. Furthermore, by mediating the sympathetic nervous system (which is easily and often over-taxed due to stress), acupuncture stimulates vasodilation and effects blood flow to the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus. This, in turn, increases the viability of the ovum, thickens the uterine lining, and assists implantation of the fertilized egg – while decreasing the likelihood of miscarriage.

It is important to note that statistics show at least 30% of infertility cases are caused by male factors and another 30% involve a combination of both male and female. A recent study indicates that acupuncture improves sperm count, motility and quality.

Traditional Chinese Medicine’s goal is to harmonize the entire being, tilling the soil for the creation of an overall environment that nurtures growth and well-being. Acupuncturist works in partnership with their patients to address specific needs and objectives.

Written by Valerie

July 26th, 2010 at 11:12 pm

The First Visit to a Manhattan Acupuncturist

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If you are a bit nervous about trying out an manhattan acupuncture session you are not alone. Since Western medicine uses needles in a different and sometimes painful ways, it is natural for us to imagine the pain of becoming a human pin-cushion. In Western medicine, needles are used to inject medicine or to withdraw fluids from the body. The needles are hollow and the tip is beveled and sharpened so that it can cut the skin upon entry. In comparison to Acupuncture needles, Western needles are huge because the diameter needs to be large enough to transfer the thick fluids of the body.

The needles are usually inserted by placing them in a “tube-like” holder to keep them from bending upon insertion, and then the doctor will “tap” the top of the holder to insert the thin needle to the desired depth. The holder is then removed, leaving the actual needle in place. The needles are left in place for a prescribed period of time before removal. Depending on the treatment plan, one to several dozen needles could be inserted in various points.

While Western patients are mostly concerned about the needles, the real treatment begins with the diagnosis. In some training clinics, the “teaching” doctor will review all data and make the diagnosis, marking the insertion points, and then the students will do the needle insertion, simply following the doctor’s instructions.

A Manhattan Acupuncturist’s Diagnosis

Much like the first visit to a Western doctor, the visit starts with medical history forms. It is important to answer all questions accurately to assist the medical staff in evaluating your condition. Acupuncture is part of “Traditional Chinese Medicine”, which is typically a more holistic approach than Western medicine, so questions which may seem unrelated to your reason for making the visit are often important to the diagnosis. After reviewing your records, the physician will visit and begin the diagnosis.

Most clinics will do the customary stethoscope routine, along with letting you describe your condition verbally. Then, depending on your condition, may do a rather extensive tongue examination and an unusual pulse examination. The Chinese pulse examination is a major diagnosis technique for traditional Chinese medicine. It is a method of establishing the condition of the “meridians” or pathways of “qi” within your body.

Then, using all of the information gathered from the diagnosis, the physician will determine the “cause” of the symptoms that you have described (the reason for your visit). Needles will then be inserted into very specific acupoints that will help bring the body back into “homeostasis” or balance, thus removing the source of the symptoms.

Allow at least an hour for the first visit. The actual treatment will last around 30 to 40 minutes and it may take several visits to make progress, depending on the seriousness of the condition and the length of time it has been causing you discomfort. As with any treatment plan (Western or Eastern), make certain your questions are answered to your satisfaction, and the treatment plan seems reasonable based on your condition.

If you have tried Western medicine for many years with no progress, it may take more than a single visit to an Acupuncturist to see results, yet you don’t want to make an acupuncture treatment a weekly event for the rest of your life to heal a sore elbow.

Written by Valerie

July 24th, 2010 at 8:41 am

The Basic Ideas of Acupuncture New York

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Acupuncture new york originates from ancient Chinese medicine so basically it is also important to study about Chinese medicine and theories that surrounds this most ancient and useful form of alternative medicine. Chinese medicine sees the body as a small part of the universe which is subject to universal laws and the principals of harmony and balance. It does not draw a sharp line compared to Western medicine. The Chinese system believes that mental and emotional states are every bit as influential on disease as purely as any physical mechanisms. Chinese medicine uses different symbols and ideas to discuss body and health. If Western medicine describes health in terms of measurable physical processes made of chemical reactions, Chinese medicine on the other hand uses ideas like chi, yin and yang, the organ system and the five elements to describe the body and health. Here are some of the basic terms used in Chinese medicine:

  • Yin and Yang, according to Chinese philosophy is the universe and the body that describes two separate complimentary principles that of which is yin and yang. The two principles are always interacting, opposing, and influencing each other and their goal in Chinese medicine is not to eliminate either yin or yang, but to allow the two to balance each other and exist harmoniously together. For example, if a person suffers from symptoms of high blood pressure, the Chinese system would say that the heart organ might have too much yang, and would recommend methods either to reduce the yang or to increase the yin of the heart, depending on the other symptoms and organs in the body. Therefore, acupuncture therapies seek to either increase or reduce yang, or increase or reduce yin in particular regions of the body.
  • Chi is another fundamental concept of Chinese medicine which is the fundamental life energy of the universe. It is invisible and is found in the environment in the air, water, food and sunlight and in the body it is the invisible vital force that creates and animates life. Every individual is born with inherited amounts of chi, and we also get acquired chi from the food we eat and the air we breathe. The level and quality of a person’s chi also depends on the state of physical, mental and emotional balance. Chi moves through the body along channels called meridians.
  • The Organ System in the Chinese system is compose of twelve main organs which is the lung, large intestine, stomach, spleen, heart, small intestine, urinary bladder, kidney, liver, gallbladder, pericardium, and the “triple warmer”. The latter represents the entire torso region. Each organ has chi energy associated with it, and each organ interacts with particular emotions on the mental level. With twelve organs, there are twelve types of chi which can move through the body, and these move through twelve main channels or meridians. Chinese doctors attach symptoms to organs. Symptoms are caused by yin/yang imbalances in one or more organs so an unhealthy flow of chi to or from one organ to another. Each organ has a different outline of symptoms it can manifest.

Written by Valerie

July 16th, 2010 at 9:12 am